Friday, 27 September 2019


RARE FOOTAGE! Following the popularity of the rare behind the scenes The Gorgon clips I shared with you a short while ago, here's another one! We are going back to October-November 1963 and the golden age of Hammer films, when the company, based at the tiny studios, along with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee were making some of the best of the Hammer British Gothic bunch ...and above, here is a rare glimpse inside the legendary Bray Studios, in the Make up room of Roy Ashton . .

If you ever wondered, just how Cushing's Baron Frankenstein 'Creature' make up was applied... below is your answer.

BELOW IS actor Kiwi Kingston, with Roy Ashton, showing his solution to the problem of 'How to save the producers time and money, when it comes to applying make up when making a monster, who is ready for the camera and walk on set, in ten minutes!!' The studio hated the fact that prep, applying and daily making up a monster, took time...and time costs money. This solution, for the producers it worked . . but for Roy and the fans of Hammer horror, it was a compromise that sadly effected the credibility of the's a complete over-head mask... and the audience knew it too. 

THE GIF CLIP ABOVE IS QUITE RARE, not often seen and proves even for a film like 'The Evil of Frankenstein' ...with a superb performance of the Baron by Peter Cushing, tight directing of Freddie Francis, very entertaining support cast of Sandor Elรจs , Katy Wild, Peter Woodthorpe, Duncan Lamont and Kiwi Kingston..and amazing sets, also used in Hammer films 'The Gorgon' from Bernard Robinson and Don Mingaye...even Universal Studios on-board... if you ain't got a great's like a firework, that promises to shock...but fails when it doesn't that have THAT bang!

HAMMER TOOK A CHANGE in direction, with the making of 'The Evil of Frankenstein'. When the camera clogs first turned on Hammer's concept of a Frankenstein movie, they were very aware of having to start their concept from scratch. On hearing of Hammer's plans, Universal films wasted no time in despatching a warning to the producers, that if anyway Hammer's 'monster' resembled the famous Jack Pearce Boris Karloff creation in any way, they would be despatching a writ, with teeth, that would for sure make a real meal of their plans and production. Universal was also clear that their script and concept was also their property, and that Hammer should tread carefully. So make up artist Phil Leakey got to work creating a 'monster appearance' on Christopher Lee, that in no way could possibly be connected with the Pearce monster. So, was the case in the Hammer sequel, 'The Revenge of Frankenstein' too.

AFTER TWO MOVIES of managing quite well in creating the 'look' of a new monster appearance, with stories too that resembled little if anything in common with the Universal Frankenstein films, fate somehow took hold of the steering wheel and tiller, and Universal relaxed their hold on the 'monster look' and story concepts, and invited Hammer films into their party. Hammer films, Anthony Hinds wrote a script that rebooted the series, no connection to either 'Curse' or 'Revenge'  . .  and a 'monster', after weeks of designing and drawing, that gave more than a wobbly nod, to the Universal creation. The bolts, the flat top and big boots, were all in! 

AFTER THE SUCCESS of 'The Curse of Frankenstein' and 'The Revenge of Frankenstein', Universal wanted IN, along with Peter Cushing as part of the deal. 'Evil' would contain many of the Universal 'Frankenstein Tropes', and after it's cinema release would also be spread across the US television screens too. The problem was that 'The Evil of Frankenstein' came up short of duration of only 84 minutes and some scenes were deemed a little too intense for family viewing . .  so a whole new back-story was shot at Universal studios, where new and quite unrelated characters were slipped into the film. None of the film's established cast were included in the footage.. and Frankenstein's monster is seen by his boots only . . .

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